Sunday, October 19, 2008

Bias in local radio fought and defeated - at least momentarily!

Yesterday I was listening to my favorite home improvement radio program. Rosie on the house has been on the air since about the time I moved to Arizona and I've listened often. In fact, I use the Rosie on the House referral page to find any services I need at my home. My garage door opener was installed by Cookson Doors; the air conditioning at my previous home was serviced by Integrity Air; my water softener and reverse osmosis were installed by Water Treatment Technologies; my patio door was replaced by Pella. The list goes on and will continue to go on in the future.

However, yesterday the top of the hour news at 8am and at 9am (Rosie on the House is on from 8-11am every saturday) given by Dennis Lambert included some rather snarky remarks about Joe the Plumber. Each time, Mr. Lambert said something very close to "A plumbers license isn't all Joe the Plumber, whose real name is Samuel Wurzelbacher, doesn't have...". That was followed up with a story about Joe's troubles nearly a decade ago when he lived in Mesa, AZ.

While the above was indeed factual correct, I took issue with the deliberate omission of Joe's middle name which is indeed "Joseph". It was a deliberate attempt to present impression that Joe the Plumber was out there running around with a fake identtity. I also found it insulting to any who choses to use either their middle name or a nickname. My own brother and several friends use their middle names. In fact, if a person prefers to go by any nickname that is their right.

I also took issue with a socalled "news" organization which is unable to determine the fact that Joe the Plumber is not required to have a Plumbers license. Joe works for a company, the owner of which has a license in the state of Ohio and the city of Toledo. The fact that this so-called "news" organization also could not remain objectivce in their top of the hour news just reinforces the obvious media bias.

On top of all that, the radio station and their news reader, Mr. Lambert, were causing listeners to tune out of the Rosie on the House radio program. The listeners to Rosie are ordinary people like Joe the Plumber, like me, and like you who want to get questions about home improvement answered. Never before in nearly 20 years of listening to Rosie and Romie have I ever heard them say the lines are all open but open they were. Thus the obvious bias and lack of objectivity of their news reader was harming an independent, small business. Just as an Obama Administration would do.

But, all is not lost. You see at about 930 am I both emailed and phoned the radio station and let them know what I thought of their "news" filled with snark and bias. And guess what happened at the top of the news at the 10am hour... no mention of Joe the Plumber at all. That was not my goal though. My goal was simply that they deliver the news without sprinkling it with opinion. So, call the media outlets that you find offensive. Email them. Fax them. Write them. It does work!

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